* Posts by ratfox

3499 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Obama: McCain can't email, remembers Rubik's Cubes

ratfox Silver badge

Not so surprising

I do hope that as a president, he'll have people who send e-mail and surf the web for him. If that guy has to go look for information himself, where is the world going to?

The potential vice-president, on the other hand, has shown that she understands about e-mail. At least enough to discuss key subjects with her assistants using her personal account, because it is not subject to disclosure like the official one...

OMFG, what have you done?

ratfox Silver badge


Fixed width? New icons? WAAAAAAH!!

Then new hands icons are ugly, with apologizes to the artist who drew them. The funny flame icon is not going to be enough to express my wrath either! Why did the dead vulture disappear?

Thankfully, the coat icon is still here...

German court bans VoiP on iPhone

ratfox Silver badge

This is exactly why...

it shouldn't be possible to have restrictions on modifications.

This reminds me of when the phone handsets themselves were property of AT&T and it was forbidden to attach a Hush-a-Phone to it.

Beauty contest judge canned for slamming 'munter' contestants

ratfox Silver badge

Behind the times

Poor man... Beauty depends on fashion, and like it or not, tattoos are fashionable. Don't like tattoo? Get out, you retrograde!

Apart from that, it's obviously stupid to call the contestants ugly. Did he really think the organizers were going to like it? "Gosh, they're all so cute, it's hard to choose" is what they wanted to hear... And yes, being honest was a bad move in this case.

As if honesty was compatible with media and marketing...

Child abusers adopt blackmail tactics

ratfox Silver badge


"According to Police profilers most active paedos are in the 18-24 years old age group."

Really? I wouldn't have thought that.

Do they consider 19-years-old with a 16-years-old girlfriend as paedo?

Japanese call on deities to discipline wayward PCs

ratfox Silver badge


Messing with our mind since forever!

Blame game over United Airlines stock crash rumbles on

ratfox Silver badge

If somebody is at fault

It's clearly the guy who decided this was newsworthy for the Bloomberg information system.

I do hope these guys will try to find more solid information than "some newspaper article on Google news". The people who are paying through the nose for Bloomberg information certainly expect more, at least.

Literacy leads to happiness and luuurv

ratfox Silver badge

Weird statistics

"68 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women with good literacy skills are co-habiting or married, compared to 52 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women who find it difficult".

So if I get it right, there's way more women than men who are co-habiting or married? LESBIANS, ALL OF THEM!

Mine's the one with "probabilities for dummies" in the pocket

Ten of the Best... iPod rivals

ratfox Silver badge

Didn't bother to read the review

Is there any of these which can play from one track to another WITHOUT pausing, like a CD? Much of classical music should keep playing from one track to another, and the pause introduced by my iPod makes me want to scream.

United 'bankruptcy' points to new stock scam techniques

ratfox Silver badge

My sympathies to UA

Having something like this happen to you is more or less akin to being hit by lightning in the middle of a beautiful day.

Congratulations to the clever guys who managed to buy at $3. The stock is back up at $10, though it's still lower than the previous level of $12.

Indeed, fake bad news might come up more and more, considering it's much easier to halve the value of a stock in one day than double it... Doesn't say much for the system as a whole, though.

Google launching its own navy?

ratfox Silver badge
Thumb Down

And they're applying for a patent?

On putting a data center on a boat?


I don't have the chutzpah to be a successful engineer, I guess. I could understand a patent on details of the idea, like the wave power generator. But I would have never thought of asking for a patent on "putting loads of computers on a boat".

Doesn't the Navy have a few computers on air carriers? Wouldn't that be prior art?

Wait until they apply for a patent on "data centers in the jungle" "data centers in snowy regions" "data centers in rainy regions" "data centers with solar panels on top" "data centers with a yellow ceiling"...

Homeland Security backs deportation with Wikipedia

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton


"not condone or encourage the use of resources such as Wikipedia.com..."

Ahem. wikipedia.org, please. One more fine example of the quality of court rulings.

Paris, because she's another fine example... Of something.

Burned by Chrome - Fire put out

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Yet Another Crap EULA

Honestly, EULA are becoming closer and closer to scientology crap.

We need more EULAs like this one. The more stupid and obviously unenforceable they become, the quicker the world will realize that EULAs do not belong to the domain of law, but fiction, and should not be taken seriously.

Paris, because nobody takes her seriously either.

The Google-isation of all the net's access points

ratfox Silver badge

I can't believe it!

Google is advertising Chrome (BETA) on its main page!

What was that about Larry Page not wanting a privacy link on that "beautiful clean home page"? (I know, there is one now)

Shit, how could they add an ugly download link for Chrome on the beautiful clean home page?? I almost can't find the search box anymore in all the clutter...

Google releases open source browser

ratfox Silver badge

Competition for IE?

I'm afraid the only browser it will be competing with are Firefox, Safari, Opera and other stragglers. I don't see how people who are still using IE would make the change... Most of them don't even know they have a choice.

iGoogle personalises personal pages on other people's behalf

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

I admit, this is the first time...

That I've seen a company so blatantly considering their users as guinea-pigs.

"Put this one in the labyrinth"

"This one seems more intelligent than average, test him"

"We should dissect this one... What? We can't? You sure?"

"Oooh good, they found out about the Javascript code, we can go to the next test phase"

"Let's yank their chain again"

Paris, because she's yanking my chain...

Vodafone says termination rate clampdown would hit the poor

ratfox Silver badge


"Heavy call maker? Pick an 03*** number and enjoy lower call rates when you call out, in return for paying to receive a call.

Heavy call receiver? Stay on the 07*** number and pay more when you call out."

This in turns means that the phone companies, seeing that calls are only ever made from 03*** numbers to 07*** numbers, will heavily augment prices for everything...

On a side note, my Canadian company, who does charge me for incoming calls, also charges 5$ a month for caller ID... Bastards.

Psychologist invents new uber-wiki

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

I want to be professor in psychology too

Where do I sign? I've got plenty of crackpot ideas!

Paris, because she'll be teaching psychology anytime soon...

Hackintosh maker bites back at Apple

ratfox Silver badge


Actually, if some terms of a license are illegal, you do not need to follow them...

For instance, if a joker added "by reading this, you agree to kill your neighbour in the next 24 hours" to one of these EULAs you click one without reading, you will not have to do it. Thankfully.

From what I've heard, half of the EULAs contain something which is very probably illegal. The problem is, only a court can decide whether it is legal or not. In that sense, EULAs are only "potentially" legal. Some people decide to obey the EULAs, some do not.

When the outcome of a lawsuit is uncertain, the company itself might even prefer not to sue transgressors, in order to be able to go on telling the sheep the conditions are legal and binding.

Hacker unearths young Chinese gymnast scam

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Hidden massacres in US and UK

Of course, there was no hidden massacre in US or UK like there was in China. That's not the democratic way.

Totalitarian governments say: "SHUT UP! It didn't happen!" (Tienanmen)

Democratic governments say: "Yeah, it happened. So?" (Kent)

Or, possibly, they claim the students had WMD...

Paris, because she's a WM(brain)D

Game sharer gets £16K fine

ratfox Silver badge

The worth of pirated software

Each side has its own estimation of the damage of piracy:

- Copyright holders pretend that each person who pirated their product would have bought it if they hadn't been able to get it for free. So they estimate their loss by multiplying the number of downloads by the retail price.

- P2Pers pretend nobody who pirated the product would have bought it, even for a cent. So they estimate the damage as nothing.

Obviously, both sides are being dishonest about it.

For one thing, having net access to download is not free, and the price charged by ISPs is a function of how much people download. So people downloading for free are still paying money for that, just not to the copyright holder.

For another thing, many people might actually pay for the product if it wasn't often faster to download it than going through paying for it.

Federal judge halts Defcon talk on subway card hacking

ratfox Silver badge

@smart - smarter - smartest

It would be a very unambitious MIT undergrad who would want to work for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority... Or whatever company is in charge of these cards.

Anthrax 'rogue scientist' also Wikipedia cult member

ratfox Silver badge

Re: "a women's sorority"

Actually, it's not even a women's sorority, it's a women's fraternity... No, seriously, go check it up!

Apparently, Jimbo cannot read his own encyclopedia...

BT slams bandwidth brakes on all subscribers

ratfox Silver badge

All-you-can-eat contracts soon to end

Really, it's just a matter of logic.

The ISP started offering unlimited contracts because everybody said they wanted it. But considering the quantity of comments here rejoicing that heavy users are getting throttled, some ISP should start offering contracts at 1p per Mb (and cheaper during low-use hours). Then we can start paying for internet like we are paying for water, electricity and telephone.

I believe the only reason unlimited contracts exist is that the heavy users are the only people voicing their opinion on the subject, and they are too happy to have everybody pay the same amount.

Yahoo! recounts! votes!

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Ok, hands up everyone

...who believe this was really a honest mistake?

Paris Hilton, because with honest mistakes like this, she WILL be president.

Paris Hilton - the compromised candidate

ratfox Silver badge

In case Bush hadn't done it...

This would prove you don't need a brain to be a politician

...or a religious leader for that matter. All hail Xenu!

Dutch vacuum salesman pumps Google for €1m

ratfox Silver badge

Dutch tax

1.2% ? That's quite high, considering many countries have no capital tax at all (like Belgium)

US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban

ratfox Silver badge

Noisy babies

While I agree that parents should try to keep their children quiet, I also agree that this is not always possible.

If the parents are trying their best to calm down the child, then whoever complains is stupid. The parents probably want the child to be quiet more than anybody else, and yes, they are entitled to use a plane even with a noisy baby. If you don't think so, I'll complain you are a waste of oxygen, and should not be entitled to pollute the inside of the plane with the nasty CO2 you're emitting. And also, you stink, and you're ugly. Please take the boat, or put a paper bag on your face.

Anyway, the point of talking about noisy babies was that phones are by far not the most annoying thing in a plane. What's the US congress doing making laws about the amount of noise you can make in a plane?? I can't wait for Obama and McCain to give their opinion on this oh-so-important issue.

US customs: Yes, we can seize your laptop, iPod

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

@Julian Garrett

That's a pretty good comment...


Quantum porn engine foiled by strawberries and muffins

ratfox Silver badge

And yet, the company stock will rise fast...

How could it fail to rise, with so much hot air?

Of course, there's 0.01% chance it will be the next facebook...

Microsoft to kill Windows with 'web-centric' Midori?

ratfox Silver badge

Midori means green

in Japanese.

Could Microsoft be thinking of becoming ecologically-oriented?

Reg hack insults the Parachute Regiment

ratfox Silver badge

Such conceit

When the red devils are a sexy all-female bikini team, maybe I'll watch their shows... I'm not interested in Xtreme sports jocks wannabes.

Anonymous. Wannabes can be vindicative.

Inquirer celebrates spammer murder-suicide

ratfox Silver badge

I feel bad for the family...

But I must say, not for him.

I have often thought that if the light discontent felt by the millions of people who received one of his mail was concentrated on the spammer, he would be vaporized instantly.

I would maybe not cheer his death, but as for a Darwin award, I do feel the world is not missing much. The fact he killed his family makes him even more despicable. It may be that, as he knew the world would not regret his death, he took his family with him out of spite to make the world feel bad: "Look what you made me do".

Condolences to the still-living daughter.

Happy Sysadmin Day!

ratfox Silver badge

What about users?

Is there a user appreciation day?

Without users, sysadmins wouldn't have a job, right?

SF's silent sysadmin pleads not guilty

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton


No matter what he did, it is stupid if they cannot make it work unless he tells them how to. What about if he had a heart attack?

Paris because... well, it's in the title

DARPA plans soldier-tagging system for US troops

ratfox Silver badge

How to make it work

There are two ways I can see to make it work:

- The tag sends a clear signal at least as long as it takes for goniometers to pick up the signal. The problem is that this signal can also be detected by the other faction. However, knowing in advance which frequency it will be gives you a significant advantage (we can assume the frequency will change every time). It is not possible for a goniometer to watch over every possible frequency at the same time, and though systems like ELTA's COMINT can explore thousands of frequencies per second, it is not fast enough to detect ultra-short emissions.

- The tag could send a signal using CDMA, which allows to transmit UNDER the noise level, and thus is undetectable by goniometers. I do not know if a goniometer knowing the proper code could detect the direction of the transmission. The problem with this is that CDMA emissions use a spread spectrum, and that different frequencies interact differently with obstacles - making it much less precise. It might be possible for the tag to react to emissions sent by multiple interrogators and send the result by CDMA, allowing it to be located by techniques similar to GPS - the interferences between the emissions of the interrogators give a clear idea of where the tag is.

Wall Street frowns on ginormous Google profits

ratfox Silver badge


Are doing little more than playing a high-stakes game of poker...

And of course they have little idea of what's going on - in the company.

The stock value of a company has little to do with what it owns, or what it earns. It only depends on what stockbrokers think other stockbrokers are going to do. Those who guess in advance what the majority of their peers will do get rich.

Those who bet in advance that Google earnings would be disappointing got rich today... But this kind of bet could have been done on anything, including whether it will rain today.

Raptor and Eurofighter go head to head

ratfox Silver badge
Thumb Down


> The failures in theatres like Iraq and Afganistan are really quite easily solved.

The USSR also thought they could solve the problem, once... Spent many more times the budget in money in human lives, too.

The problem is not invading the country, the problem is holding it.

Icahn writes another bloody letter

ratfox Silver badge
Thumb Down


Icahn believes that if the shareholders contract a life insurance on a company, the board members and the employees, then they should all suicide to maximize profit.

Green-loving California may dodge utility bill bullet

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

@yeah, right

Actually, privatization worked well in... Finland, was it?

Maybe Finnish corporations have different morals than most?

Paris, because her morals are also significantly different than most...

Dog off the menu at Olympic restaurants

ratfox Silver badge


My biggest disappointment when visiting Beijing recently was that it was impossible to see at more than 100 yards. And to breathe properly.

Don't wait for any new records on the track this year!

Google and the End of Science

ratfox Silver badge

Statistics... Meh

Then a guy observes that the births in northern France are related to the number of storks... Yeah, right.

Hawkeye technology turns tennis into a cartoon

ratfox Silver badge


Are you actually trying to say it's a shame that Federer and Nadal have a rival at their level, because it makes it more difficult to beat records?

Would you prefer to have only one good player, and all the others worth crap, just so you could declare the guy "best player of all time" after ten years of one-sided matches?

About the Hawkeye issue, all systems are faillible. But at least, we can assume the computer treats both players the same (unless the program was hacked). Referees being human, they have a high risk of favoring a player, even unconsciously.

NXP sues to silence Oyster researchers

ratfox Silver badge
Thumb Up

Siding with the researchers here

The reason researchers publish papers is not to satisfy their egos. It is that otherwise they don't get jobs.

Thanks to their work, the guys involved apparently obtained funding for the next two years. Who would pay them if they didn't publish it?

They gave NXP only six months to fix it, but if this is a security flaw that cannot be fixed in six months, it probably means they can't fix it at all, no matter how much time they have. Trying to silence the researchers is like hiding your head in the sand.

Are the ice caps melting?

ratfox Silver badge

@Melting ice leads to falling sea level

Actually, melting ice leads to sea level not changing at all. Yes, the ice is slightly less dense than water, that's why it is floating, but the amount of ice which is over the sea level exactly compensates. An iceberg takes exactly the same amount of volume under the sea level as the water which weighs as much as the iceberg... So an iceberg melting does not change anything.

Now, of course, there's plenty of ice over Greenland and Antarctica...

Available to buy: your own frakkin' 7ft Cylon

ratfox Silver badge


English (and I mean REAL English) is still one of the official languages of India. 1 billion against. You lose.

Google plugs YouTube into Playstation 3

ratfox Silver badge
Thumb Up

Nice stab at the networks

"Nowadays, all the stuff worth watching and listening to tends to be stored on or accessed through a computer."

TV has jumped the shark some time ago... ^^

easyJet warns Expedia: 'Hands off our flights'

ratfox Silver badge

How can Easyjet stop that?

I'm clueless about this, but I'm a bit surprised that Easyjet can actually stop that... I thought that in a capitalistic country, you were allowed to buy cheap and sell expensive. I wasn't aware you have to ask permission first. I mean, what's the legal basis for that?

If I buy a car and I find somebody to sell to at a higher price, why shouldn't I?

Germany, Spain and Belgium get free mobile calls

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Aren't these phones smart?

Just find a way to filter the spam... And you have a free phone without any advertisement.

... It's kind of weird that companies are almost paying you to receive their ads. Maybe one day, I'll be able to watch ads all day, and stop working...

Paris, because she's not working either...

Microsoft says ‘hasta la vista XP’ - well, kinda

ratfox Silver badge


Completely agree with you. Why do people want to keep older systems anyway?

On the same train of thought, starting of tomorrow, everybody in Great Britain will drive on the right side of the road. It will make it easier for car makers, because they will finally be able to make only cars with the driver on the left. Everything will be standard, which is of course better.

Speaking of standards, the metric system will now be standard in US. Americans will just have to get used to kilometers, liters, kilograms and Celsius. And forget those dumb "US letter" and "US legal" paper format. From now on, it's the world standard A4 for you.

How about plain realizing that Vista works DIFFERENTLY than XP, and people plain PREFER the way XP works? And that they see NO reason whatsoever to change their habits? And that it will cost MILLIONS to large companies to adapt their IT to Vista, because, yes, the applications they use do not work under Vista, and it is a nightmare to create a new version without having to upgrade every single computer they own?

"From tomorrow, we will stop selling paper. If you want to write on anything, buy our brand new plastic sheet. Only new markers can write on them, if you have pencils and paper in your stock, you can use them until you run out."

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019